The Corner

Re: Will the Pentagon Always Be Able to Evacuate Americans from Hotspots?

Michael: You’re right that any consideration of cuts in the defense budget has to take into account the capacity to evacuate Americans stranded abroad. But your point about the thousands of Lebanese with dual U.S. citizenship raises an important point — why should a U.S. Marine, who enlisted to defend his fellow countrymen from harm, risk his life rescuing people who have not fully committed to the American nation? Dual citizenship — a “self-evident absurdity” in TR’s words — means, in this case, people who want to live in Lebanon, as Lebanese, and perhaps even vote there, but who also want to make sure that if things go bad someone else will risk his life to rescue them. How is this morally defensible? And in an era of shrinking defense budgets, it’s not practical either. A dual U.S.-Lebanese citizen can call the Lebanese Marines to bail him out — the U.S. Marines are for those who weren’t lying when they swore that “I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen.”

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